Ban on heavy goods vehicles hitting veggies' supply: Traders

Ban on heavy goods vehicles hitting veggies' supply: Traders

But top cop insists vegetable vehicles can ply on City's roads any time

Ban on heavy goods vehicles hitting veggies' supply: Traders

The ban on the movement of heavy goods vehicles on Bengaluru’s roads from 6 am to 10 pm has badly affected the supply of vegetables, traders and market associations say.

The ban, imposed by the traffic police from January 1 onwards, may have reduced the burden on the roads but angered vegetable traders. R V Gopi, president of Vegetable and Fruit Wholesale Merchants’ Association, has urged the police to exempt vegetable vehicles from the ban as the agricultural produce have a short shelf life.

“After much persuasion, the police are letting in some trucks into the markets during the said hours. But drivers are forced to fork out a fine of Rs 2,000 for not following the rules. Since vegetables have a short shelf life, vehicles carrying them should be exempted from the ban,” he told Deccan Herald.

According to Gopi, 200-300 trucks enter the Kalasipalya market to unload the produce every day. “Nearly 30-40 trucks go out of the City. It’s not just traders who are struggling to procure the vegetables on time, even truck drivers and farmers are suffering,” he added.

Traders at the Kalasipalya market said that the peak time for lorries to unload vegetables would be 8 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 8 pm.

While the late arrival of vegetables is yet to affect the market, traders fear it would in the long run. Traders said they had submitted a memorandum to the traffic police requesting them to relax the timings for vehicles carrying perishable items.

V L Shankarappa, president of APMC Merchants’ Association, said he had been getting complaints from local vegetable merchants about the difficulty in supplying the produce to other outlets and markets.

“Close to 1,000 trucks carrying pulses, onions, potatoes and other vegetables come to the Yeshwantpur yard every day to unload the produce. Since trucks from other states unload the produce only after 10 pm, they do not face any problems. But local purchasers are badly hit as they buy and transport the vegetables to different outlets only after 6 am,” Shankarappa added.

When contacted, an official at Hopcoms (Horticultural Producers’ Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society) claimed they hadn’t received any complaints from farmers as most of the trucks unloaded by 5 am.

At a recent meeting, the traffic police told traders that vehicles carrying vegetables and other perishable items could ply on the City’s roads any time, according to Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), B Dayananda.

But Gopi insisted there had been no relief yet and drivers were still facing problems.
DH News Service